As artist Alan White prepares to retire from the UTC’s art department, the Hunter Museum will host an exhibition celebrating his work and his contribution to the Chattanooga art community. The exhibit opens March 30 and continues until June 9.
Mr. White, a native of Scotland, came to UTC in 1972 and served as head of the art department for 20 years.
The exhibit features a sampling of pieces from the last 40 years. Some works are from Mr. White’s undergraduate work, while others are from present-day, marking the artist’s growth and progression. Although initially interested in the figure, Mr. White has explored an abstracted house form for much of his career. Many of his works reference his homeland of Scotland, the rural areas around northern Vermont and the Florida coast where he has spent quite a bit of time.
“This work reflects my ongoing interest in structural form – originally rural, more recently coastal,” Mr. White said. “It also reflects my interest in land forms in and of themselves, and, of course, light.”
Mr. White’s paintings, though usually minimal, are lush investigations of texture and composition, with built up surfaces that are then often scraped down to open up the layers underneath, said Nandini Makrandi, contemporary curator for the Hunter Museum.
An influence on Mr. White’s work is Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a late 19th century Scottish architect and designer whose work defied Victorian sensibilities by creating designs and furnishings that were spare and unpretentious. Early 20th century Italian artist Giorgio Morandi is another inspiration for Mr. White. The quiet tonality of Mr. Morandi’s still lifes is referenced in Mr. White’s subtle coloration and the simplicity of his structures.
“Alan White’s involvement over the last 40 years with our artistic community is significant,” said Mr. Makrandi. “His enthusiasm and love for art and teaching have inspired and influenced countless students.”